University of Twente Student Theses


Compensatory Health Beliefs: The Development of an Eating-Specific Scale

Wilde, Elena te (2013) Compensatory Health Beliefs: The Development of an Eating-Specific Scale.

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Abstract:Objective: The aim of the study was to develop and evaluate an eating-specific Compensatory Health Beliefs (CHBs) scale. CHBs are beliefs that a negative/unhealthy behaviour or consequences of negative behaviour can be compensated by positive, healthy behaviour, so that the negative behaviour can be neutralized. A scale that measures these general CHBs was already developed by Knäuper et al. (2004). The scale is, however, very generic and does not assess specific behaviour in detail. The subject of this study is unhealthy eating behaviour. People who eat unhealthy food/snacks might get in a state of cognitive dissonance because they want to stay healthy and thin but cannot resist the temptation of unhealthy food. They might try to resolve this cognitive dissonance by eating-specific CHBs. Design: Qualitative interviews were used for the item generation. For the survey study cross-sectional data were used to evaluate the scale. Subjects: The study was conducted among 170 participants whereof the majority (97%) were students. Method: The new developed eating-specific CHB (ECHB) scale and other measures were tested in the group of participants in order to determine the reliability and construct validity of the scale. Also the predictive value for the intake of unhealthy food/or snacks was evaluated. Results: The whole scale’s Cronbach’s α was 0.68, that suggests that the reliability is questionable. But the factor structure and the construct validity of the scale were good. The eating-specific CHB scale had a significant negative Pearson correlation (r=-0.29) with the adapted version of the Fat List and the multivariate regression analysis maintained the predictive value of the scale. Conclusion: The ECHB scale can be used as an instrument to measure eating-specific CHBs. It is possible to predict the intake of unhealthy food/ snacks based on the score of the ECHB. Further research is needed to increase the reliability of the scale.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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